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India’s Revised Guidelines for International Travelers Will Take Effect on Dec 1

Latest India Travel News: As the threat of Omicron looms large over the world, India revises its international travel guidelines with effect from December 1. The new guidelines for international passengers arriving in India require them to declare their 14-day travel history and upload a negative RT-PCR test report (irrespective of their vaccination status) on the Air Suvidha portal before boarding the flight to India. The test report should not be older than 72 hours.

This announcement from the Union Health Ministry comes a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi advised officials to review the plans to reopen international travel amid rising concerns over the new variant of Coronavirus, Omicron, first detected in South Africa. The World Health Organisation has classified Omicron as a “Variant of Concern” (VOC).

According to the revised international travel guidelines, travelers from “countries at-risk” (UK, South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong and Israel) must take the COVID-19 test upon arrival and wait for results at the airport. Passengers whose test result comes negative will have to undergo home quarantine for 7 days and get tested again on the eighth day. If tested negative, they will have to further self-monitor their health for the next 7 days. The sample of passengers who test positive will be sent for genomic testing and they will be treated as per standard health protocol. 

Travelers coming from countries other than the 12 “at-risk” countries will be allowed to leave the airport and they will have to self-monitor their health for 14 days. However, India’s latest international travel guidelines stated that 5% of passengers in each flight would randomly be tested upon arrival.

This testing requirement is not applicable to children under 5 years of age. However, if they are found to be symptomatic during screening, the general protocol applies to them. All symptomatic passengers, including children, will be immediately isolated and taken to a medical facility for testing.

Check out the following algorithm issued by the Government for India’s latest international travel guidelines.

Revised international travel guidelines algorithm
Source: MOHFW

Apart from revising international travel guidelines, the Center also stated that it would reassess the resumption of scheduled commercial international passenger service in light of the evolving global scenario as well as the emerging pandemic situation within the country. Just last week, India confirmed the resumption of international flights on December 15.

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